Search For Clues In The New ‘Star Trek’ Poster and T-Shirt

In a new Variety article (‘Most Anticipated Films of Comic Con’ where Trek is # 2 behind Indy 4 and ahead of Dark Knight) producer Damon Lindelof is quoted saying:  

There may be a couple (clues) in terms of T-shirts and movie posters floating around the Con that may signal to fans when and where our movie is going to be set.

So here are high res images of each





In JJ Abrams talk at comic con said "how do you possibly top or even match the cast of The Original Series…and that is really where this film takes place" (although it isn’t clear if you can take that literally to mean within TOS or just around TOS). The Poster is clearly screaming ‘TOS’ by using the TOS typeface. The Shirt uses the same type and also the TOS era emblem. (Quinto’s age of 30 also helps guide this). Another clue is Quinto’s age (30) which is a four years younger than Nimoy when he was shot for the 2nd Star Trek pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before"…but that may not be something to be too literal about either. So TOS is certain, but exactly when is still not clear .

UPDATE: Stardate 12.25.08 a clue?
Astute reader Jörg points out that the show pilot takes place during ‘Stardate 1312.4. Therefore 1225.8 would indeed be before the pilot. [List of TOS episodes and Stardates]


This is the big question. We have reported that the Enterprise will appear in the film, but it has not been confirmed that it is the primary setting. The writers describe the film as a ‘starship adventure.’ The poster’s type is filled with stars – signaling that the film (shock) will be set in space. The T-Shirt does use the emblem for The Enterprise (although it eventually also becomes the emblem for all of Starfleet).

My guess:

Based on the writers ‘starship adventure’ statement combined with the official confirmation that the film has both Kirk and Spock (played by a 30 year old), plus our report that the Enterprise is in the film, combined with the ‘clues’ in the posters and the shirt – I see three possibilities (note this is my guess and not something ‘leaked’ to me):

  1. The film is mostly the beginning of the ‘5 year mission’ of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk
  2. The film is mostly the time of Lt. Commander/Commander Kirk (and/or Lt. Spock) leading up to Kirk’s promotion to Captain and assignment to the Enterprise
  3. A combination of the two

…or maybe Abrams can be taken literally and the film is just set during TOS.

Note that even if the film primarily deals with one time frame the inclusion of Nimoy signals that at least one other time frame will be involved. Plus has heard the story will jump around in time a bit and could possibly include some moments from a much younger Kirk as well (think Batman Begins). Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman are well known for liking to tell non-linear stories.  

Last August we reported the rumor that the film will deal with the first mission of Kirk and Spock on the Enterprise. appears that we may have been right all along. setting ‘the buzz’
Did you notice who the only other person they quoted in Variety regarding Trek? That kind of thing is why is the source for everything new in Star Trek. To make good on that will have a big exclusive interview coming up tomorrow or Monday.

NOTE: another version of this article went up last night but had to be redone and have images added…so comments are now ‘reset’

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Definitely think it will be set as the 1st voyage of the Enterprise under Kirk’s command.

First!!! So stoked for tomorrow’s interview!

Mhh, stardate 1225.08. “Where no man has gone before” was set in 1312.5, so it seems to be set before that… ;-)

I want to see how Kirk and Spock meet and how they eventually become such good friends.

Kirk’s journey to gain command of the Enterprise is something that everyone would want to see IMO. What events take place for this to happen??

Kudos to Abrams, this guy is going to do Trek proud. The poster with original type face is awesome. Very encouraging to this Trek Fan!!

The poster has stars, and the shirts are black. I’m thinking it will be set in the blackness of space. Yeah.

Can we get an image on the label inside the shirt? Maybe it’s going to take place in Taiwan, be machine washable, tumble dry.

Hmm, what about the release date? There’s a 2250 in it…maybe 2250 marks the year the new movie is set.

# 5 you are one funny mofo!

Star Trek: Miission ONE would be cool.

The problem is how much to do for us, vs general audience; Like does Pike hand over the ship… how do you do that without too much exposition?

The age of Spock is an odd thing to think/speculate about since he ages slowly. Quinto is 30, but how old does that make Spock?

re: poster

Personally I felt it was going to be TOS since the original Gold/Blue poster. (which I really liked)

non Linear.

Cool. as long as it’s not all a “dream”/sequence

I’m just hoping that the documentary style shooting (Galactica) that seems so in -vogue right now is handled with a light touch. sometimes the acting/ emotions are lost due to all this “over cinemetography”

And everything is so DARK in movies these days. (I mean no light)

Speaking of style of the movie-

What about the rest of the production crew-?

What can we expect re – the look/ feel/ music/ sets design/costumes, etc- Have those staffers been named yet?

Thanks for the posts, Anthony and company – keep ’em coming.

If all of the speculation is true, then we should see Gary Mitchell after all.

It’ll be very super cool to see the enterprise launch for the very first time under Jim Kirk. Having new actors play our favorite characters is the best part for me, since in my mind the crew, like the Enterprise, can never grow old. It’s like being a little kid again, the anticipation and the excitement. I haven’t felt this way about Trek since The Undiscovered Country. Any thoughts on what the re-interpreted Enterprise might look like, beyond the cgi one that’s on youtube?

Keep up the great work Anthony!

Given how Abram’s uses the trick where a scene starts with a close-up of a character’s eye in both Lost and M:I 3 if I am not mistaken, will we see a close-up of Nimoy’s eye to kick off a story and then a flash back to an earlier time?

This website reminds me of the Star Trek report in the old Starlog magazine,when I was a kid(in 1978),that reported on the upcoming Star Trek phase 2 to feature film news.Back then it was a few paragraphs once a month.Today it’s up to the minute.I remember I couldn’t wait till that damn magazine came out..Best of the Trek info sites.Intelligently put forth.As a non-trekkie fan I like the way it’s not too trekkie exclusive.

Question of the day;Can one buy these shirts or are they a comic con exclusive?

When telling Shatner why he did not have a part in the script (see story here:, Nimoy hinted that the film will be set either after Kirk’s disappearance from the Enterprise-B in 2293 or after Kirk’s actual death in 2371 (both events seen in ST: Generations). So, my guess would be what other people have guessed: Spock learning of Kirk’s death and remembering his first adventures with Kirk.

mctrekkie @#7: Many of the production crew members have already been unveiled and they have all worked with Abrams in the past. Michael Giacchino (who most recently scored Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille) has been tagged to compose the film’s score; Dan Mindel will be director of photography; Scott Chambliss will be production designer; and Industrial Light & Magic will provide the visual effects. As for other positions – editor, costume designer, etc. – there hasn’t been anything reported on them. However, given that the production staff thus far is comprised of those who worked on Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III (also for Paramount), I think it’s a safe bet that more people from that film will sign on for Star Trek, including costume designer Colleen Atwood and casting director April Webster. Editing will most likely be handled by Mary Jo Markey and/or Maryann Brandon.

Anyway, to Anthony, once again (as previously commented when this story was initially posted), way to go! Keep up the great work. :)

JC–yeah, that brings back some memories for me too. Even when I was living in Bangkok I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Susan Sackett’s monthly ST: Phase II reports in Starlog. I think I was still there when she reported that the whole project had unfortunately imploded, but that all hope was not lost as there was still another possibility that might bear fruit–which of course six months later was revealed as plans for a big-budget motion picture, culminating with the press conference featuring Robert Wise, Roddenberry, and all of the original cast. Just once more instance of Trek having a near-death experience, and then coming back stronger than ever.

Jörg@#3: Hey, that’s actually a possibility. They may use that. Nice catch there. By the way… don’t I know you? :D

First Kirk Enterprise mission would preclude that McCoy likely would not be in the film. I don’t know what Lindelhof is getting at, I don’t see much of clues in those things? Part of the question is whether this will be an individual mission kind of thing, or the start of a series of sequels? If they are looking to build a long term series on the new Kirk and Spock, you would have to assume they will be on the Enterprise. I am not a fan of that, because that starts to become a reboot of TOS. I don’t see much wiggle room there, because TOS “Where No Man Has Gone Before” is set pretty much right at the beginning of the 5 year mission in 2265. I would figure, if they go by canon, that this will take place somewhere between the dikironium cloud creature incident on the Farragut in 2257 and then. Kirk goes from a Lieutenant to Captain in only 10 years. There must have been a reason for such a fast rise. Gary Mitchell seemed to rise along with Kirk just as much, so I would assume Gary would be part of the movie. Spock spent most of that time on duty on the Enterprise, so unless there is a special mission of some sort, how does he meet Kirk? I would think these years are where they are going with the movie, not the 5 year mission. At least that would be my preference. Regardless of Nimoy or Shatner’s involvement, I am simply not a fan of redoing TOS 5 year mission with new actors. That would seem like a big budget fan film to me, and I’d have a hard time taking it seriously. Doing the pre-TOS years allows for more characters. Like I said, Kirk rose so quickly, you have to figure he was involved in some pretty big missions, which is what the movie should cover.

I’m sure I am completely wrong here, but when I look at that new poster, I keep seeing the mirror universe based on the white background and black star lettering. I also think Quinto would look good with a beard…….

I know it probably wont be the case because I imagine that would be confusing to those who are not already familiar with Trek.

I’m glad Abrams is at least attempting to get a good part for Shatner in there. He might just be saying that to calm people down, but I hope he menas it and finds something for Shatner to do.

I think Quinto will be a good Spock, and the whole idea of seeing the original Enterprise on the big screen is so awesome.

I hope they dont make the sets look like the recent Trek series stuff. Sure, update them and make them look newer and stuff, but keep that retro 60s feel to them.

What if it starts with Spock in the 24th Century flashing back to when Kirk and Spock met, maybe Kirk and Spock first met when Kirk took command of the 1701 from Pike. Then as the 1701 pulls out of Spacedock Kirk then remembers the time when he was at the Academy and gettting promoted during the movie.

I don’t think so, Craig. That seems like an awful lot like having a dream within a dream.


I think the BIG questions is, what role will Greg Grunberg have in the new movie?!?!?!

Can’t see much here. “Stardate 12-25-08” is the film’s release date, December 25, 2008. If i had to guess i’d say it’s TOS when Kirk takes command, but with black neck shirts..

I agree that it might be stardate 1225.08, which is before “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” actually quite a bit before it.

It could be set before Kirk takes command of the Enterprise or his first mission as Captain, which has been told previously in the novel “Enterprise: First Adventure” and the first annual of DC comics first-series of Trek comics, “All Those Years Ago…”

Both had McCoy as CMO and the novel had Spock, not Mitchell as XO. The novel and the comic, iirc, make mention of McCoy having to eventually take a temporary leave to attend his daughter’s graduation, which supposedly was why Piper was CMO in WNMHGB.

This is no doubt that this movie is about the establishment of the friendship of Kirk and Spock, and why they are so close.


Thanks for dropping in, JC. As a non-Trek Fan, you’re going to play an integral part in Trek’s future success. I hope many more like you not only stop by, but lend your thoughts, and give this new movie a chance. The more voices the better, I always say, speaking for myself, a longtime Trekker. Welcome aboard.

Starlog. Those were the days. That mag started out as a one-shot tribute to Star Trek, [I still have it!] and ended up growing into something of an institution itself over the years. Maybe history will repeat itself with this site. Time will tell.

I’ll all for a “Kirk’s first mission as captain” movie. It could have McCoy as a bit of a fudge, but it definitely should have Pike making the transfer of command and Mitchell as Kirk’s XO.

That’s my fanboy wish. I have no idea who should play Kirk, though.

And I’d be quite happy to have it begin with Old Spock remembering about his early days with Kirk. It really doesn’t need Shatner. If you include Shatner where do you stop? Do you have cameos by Takei, Koenig, Nichols, CGI Doohan and Kelley too? Heck if anybody should have a cameo it’s Eddie Paskey! Let add that to my list Pike, Mitchell, and MR. LESLIE should appear in ST’08

Device for including current Shatner?Mind- meld flashback?That may be too fanboy for a mainstream movie.I don’t know.

For the record, here’s Anthony’s coverage of that item I linked in the previous post. I couldn’t find it before.

Do you think the only flashback will be just Spock in the future maybe the 24th Century remembering when him and Spock first met when Kirk took command of the Enterprise? Then it would just move foward from their without anymore flashbacks? I hope they have Pike in the movie handing over command of the 1701 to Kirk. Would that be cool to do a short flyby scene with Pike taking Kirk to 1701 in a shuttle. Not do it as long as the TMP scene? This would also be good a way to do the movie.

My first reaction to the starfield pattern is to say that it is from TWOK somewhere. Maybe the Kobiyashi Maru sequence? I’m not sure. But that’s what my gut is telling me, and I don’t argue with my gut.

: )

Well depending on how true to TOS year 1 stuff, if it is Kirk’s first mission, then Kirk’s friend in the movie will be Mitchell, and the Spock stuff will be weird for a time. I think this is the best period to do, but Mitchell will confuse non-Trek fans.

Showing Spock’s adjustment from Pike to Kirk will also be interesting. It would also be interesting if they did not have Mitchell as Kirk’s first XO, but instead had Number One.

I really do hope it is Captain Kirk’s origin story as captain, and it does have a Pike, and maybe has some McCoy backstory too. They could easily put McCoy on the ship and then have him injured during the mission to explain his absence later, or they could have McCoy and Kirk serving together just prior to Kirk’s promotion.

I think you’re going to see Pike handing over the keys to the new, very young captain and telling him to “keep her below warp six”. Spock will raise an eyebrow at his outgoing capatin’s comment and the audience will giggle. But I am guessing like everyone else.
Our poster designs and tshirts can only yield so many clues. I don’t think the release date is of special significance othe than it’s Christmas. More information will come, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nimoy’s character involved in a death scene, but with no disernable date given, other than far into the TNG era and well beyond “unification”.

Hey, thanks for the compliments. You and I have differing opinions of some things Trek, but not all. I was pleased and surprised by your kind comments. Thanks again.

#30 DJT
My gut feeling on the starfield was… they used colored stars in the mix. Bravo!

But…. (it’s a secret..shhhh)
(If you play “connect the dots” with all the greater magnitude stars on the poster it spells out “Shatner is signed and playing games”)

Try it and you’ll see.


what about the Guardian of Forever? that would explain a lot and even allow for the involved of Kirk (who is dead)

what about the Guardian of Forever? that would explain a lot and even allow for the involvement of Kirk (who is dead)


Congratulations on being one of the few people I’ve heard mention that Gary Mitchell was Kirk’s First Officer in “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Most people think Spock was always the First Officer since he held the post through most of TOS, but he was promoted into the position after Kirk dropped a big ol’ rock on Mitchell’s head.

As for the supposed “clues,” I think we’re being duped here. Aside from the use of the TOS type font and the arrowhead design on the t-shirt I can find nothing in the way of evidence of when the movie will be set. My guess is that they were trying to bolster poster and t-shirt sales at the con.

… and I WANT a Tshirt.
XL, if anyone’s buying.

So all it can be is TOS and Enterprise (When and Where)

#38 Flake
It can in in and around TOS if you believe the poster hints and Quintos age lends itself to a younger Spock. But you could also have much of this happening on a different or multiple ship(s) or on Enterprise, late in Pike’s command.

14 Michael.Yeah.Susan Sackett wrote that column.Pretty good remembry !

Remembry: When you suddenly remember a memory that You filed away.Also refering to ones ability to summon memories and facts.

Hey, thanks 13 (chuck Amuk)

Yeah that helps flesh it out a bit.

I still think there is no reason, at this point with Shatner can’t be in it-

Spock could meet up with Kirk before Kirk goes Orbital Skydiving.

Spock has a bad feeling and warns Kirk that these are dangerous times for him to be taking such risks, and warns him:

Speaking of that cut Skydiving Sequence-

(“Look out Jim, you’re about to be hit by a bad Ronald D Moore script, … or duck, Jim … look out for that McGuffin!)

Actually, just a tiny bit of exposition would work here,

AND if they can CGI Patrck Strewart and IanMcKellan to be a bit younger (X Men) then they cvn do a similar bit for our two heroes. That would work even better if they were talking over a video comm link (smaller images for us to nit-pick about)

Heck they can even (please don’t flame me…) Blend in some old/unused footage.

I still think the conundrum here for the producers is how to make it work for us, and how to keep it relevant for the new audience.

I don’t want Shatner forced in- Hopefully there will be some imagination here.

Also, having not seen any new acceptable names for young Kirk in a while-

(Robbie Williams… ugh!)

1) How about Nathon Fillion (too old?- But hey, he has the “space rogue” thing down)

2) How about James Marsden (after a few acting classes)

Kirk will be promoted for averting that near disaster on the Farragut cited in the TOS episode “Court-Martial”, will see him make an enemy out of Finney, though he won’t be aware of it at the time.
The bump coincides with Pike’s promotion, so he will get the Enterprise, as the youngest captain in Star fleet.
If he brings Gary Mitchell with him,than we know these writers are paying attention, if not it’s because this movie is already character heavy, but either way, there will be transitional awkwardness between Kirk and Spock.
Spock is very loyal to Pike, he doesn’t quite appreciate the “cowboy diplomacy” of Kirk. Kirk has quiet moments of self doubt about this awesome responsibility, not to mention feeling a little hostility from veteran officers like Montgomery Scott, who has just been made Chief Engineer, and believing that they handed his ship over to a kid.
Kirk’s biggest challenge may not be what’s out there, but in earning the respect of the crew.
This is my wish movie anyway. As long as it isn’t framed with Nimoy/Spock hi-jacking the Enterprise and taking it to Talos IV, where he can set Kirk’s katra free, to frolic with Pike and green animal women slaves, although that would bring things full circle.
William Shatner would love that!


Why not?

Kirk went back for Spock even though he had “died”. Why would Spock not do the same upon recieving news of Kirk’s death? There are many ways to do this with time travel being but one option. Some of Trek’s best have been time travel stories (imagine old Spock recruits young Kirk and young Spock to save old Kirk for example).

The fact that events took place in the Nexus in “Generations” definately leaves soom room for creative writing as well.

It would bring everything full circle as mentioned, the end meeting with the beginning. I’m sure this probably isn’t the direction they are taking but it could be, and if done right it would please this fan. I HATE how they finished Kirk…HATE IT. It’s not that they killed him, but how. The only thing that almost made it respectable was Shatner’s brilliant “Oh my…”, delivered with such a sense of curiosity and awe.

Too bad it was after they just had him fall off a cliff… but now I’m ranting.

Just a thought on the Poster.
I see the Paramount Logo in the bottom right corner.
Anyone have any idea what the OTHER symbol is???
I can’t enlarge it enough to see clearly.

Also…Anthony: You should make a deal to sell the shirts on this site!

And- I agree with McTrekkie #42
(Robbie Williams… ugh!)


That is the “Bad Robot” Symbol

I was making a joke Mr. Mike
A gimmick like Talos IV would still be a vast considerable improvement to the Generations debacle, but I am sure everyone is through with that tangent.
Kirk didn’t get hit with some weapon or radiation, he took a big spill.
If they had to, they could pull Nomad out of time and it could repair him the way it fixed Scotty, I don’t care, just as long as they bring Shatner back to disavow that damn Generations death!

I am going to say something that I can’t believe I am going to say… and I am certainly not advocating for it… but I see this as a bigger possibility than Shatner.

Patrick Stewart.

It would be easier to work in PS than WS… mainly because you could set the wraparound story in the midst of the TNG episode “Unification, Part II” while Spock is on Romulus. Picard was on Romulus in the company of Spock for several days… and it is obvious they had the chance to talk.

Why not show a conversation where Spock and Picard delve into a deeper discussion on Cowboy Diplomacy and use that as a lead-in to the story.

It preserves continuity (which I am sure Paramount will demand be done, unless this is a true Reboot… and all signals say it isn’t) and makes TNG fans happy.

On the other hand, while it is the most logical way I can think of to work in another Trek captain, it isn’t what I would choose to do.


#46. Tom_NX So maybe the “Bad Robot” is a clue.

Maybe JJ is going to reveal that Our beloved James Tiberius couldn’t have “died” in the Nexus.
Movie opens with a much Older Spock, (post Unification), entering the Nexus to rescue his friend. (Returning the favor).
That is when he discovers that the Kirk that “died”, was nothing more than a renegade, (Bad), robot.
As Mr. Spock is struck by the Logic, AND the Irony, he begins a low rumbling Growl that turns into a GIANT Belly Laugh.
Now, himself stuck in the Nexus with time on his hands, and struggling with Years of emotions that have suddenly surfaced, he must find a way to reach back in time and get a message to his younger self…Or go INSANE

Either that, or we are getting a Robot, ala “Lost In Space”